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Fender Custom Shop Reality

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jawbone, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. Jawbone


    Jul 15, 2010
    Humboldt County
    As the market floods (I've never seen so many Fender custom shop basses for sale on the used market) with used basses it's definitely a buyers world. Just curous about the craftmanship and quality of the Fender Custom Shop line: Are there periods just like the other lines that are better than others? Are they really "custom basses" or is just another Fender marketing guise? Is there any difference to the quality between models: ie, P vs. J? There are quite a few I've got my eye on, but if it's just hype - I'm not going to waste my mojo.
  2. Jawbone


    Jul 15, 2010
    Humboldt County
    I take it NOS is new old stock?

    Also here's an example:

    A 1983 vintage Fender P RI for $1,599 vs a Fender custom shop P for $1,899.00. They both have sunburst finishes and look identical. Is there 300 worth of Mojo in the CS model?
  3. 57pbass

    57pbass Supporting Member

    Some of the Custom Shop basses look great...and probably sound just a great.
    There is an absolute marketing plan behind these basses...and the new CS prices seem high to me...but the used market has some value compared to whats out there and the originals are out there as well at comparable prices...
  4. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood Banned

    Feb 20, 2012
    Associate to Scomel Basses
    My experience from owning several CS basses and playing many more is that they are superb instruments in every way, as good as ANY bass out there. The finishes, the fretwork, craftsmanship on the all of mine were perfect. The necks all had quartersawn maple and were shaped differently than the stock models. They felt exactly like the Fodera 5's I've owned. Overall there's not one thing that could've been done better on them.
  5. skychief


    Apr 27, 2011
    South Bay
    They really are custom basses. Or, I should say they are custom finished. The main part of the plant makes the bodies and necks, but then instead of being assembled/finished in the main plant, the Custom Shop components are whisked off to that dimly lit area at the end of a long corridor (kinda scary actually). And its there where the magic and alchemy takes place.

    The craftsmen who work in this area wear masks to protect their identity. SomE of the most amazing instruments are crafted back there; some of them special ordered and built to customers specs.

    Sure theres likely a bit of marketing hype that goes along with the Custom Shop instruments, but know that they are truly custom.

    Oh,, i was just kidding about the masks. :p
  6. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I love the Custom shop artistry but I've seen some of the prices were higher than the basses they were trying to tribute?
  7. mr.mow


    Feb 11, 2009
    Endorsing Artist: BBE/G&L Basses
    I've got 2, team built time machine models (nothing custom. Just reissue types).
    Yes, worth every cent, love mine. On paper they are no different to the American vintage basses, but in reality it's nicer, lighter woods, 2pc bodies, quarter sawn necks, nicer fretboards, thinner all nitro finishes, better fret work, tighter neck pockets.

    Refinement really..
    I've seen NOS jazzes and passes selling for around $2k new (were talking the eBay seller right?) they're good guys, looked after me.
  8. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Which models so you have Mow?
  9. mr.mow


    Feb 11, 2009
    Endorsing Artist: BBE/G&L Basses
    59p and a 64j, I briefly had a custom classic but it really wasn't my thing (active, poly finish etc).
  10. JonKim

    JonKim Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2011
    I owned many top of the line Mia fenders, vintage series, deluxe, standard, signatures, fmt deluxe.
    I tried a custom shop jaco tribute and that bass blew away all out the water. The feel and construction was night and day and my victor bailey, jaco sig, American deluxe, Fullerton vintage series were all great but the Jaco tribute was years ahead in construction and feel
  11. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento CA
    What were those other basses doing under the water??? :meh:

    As for Custom Shop Fenders, I have owned US-made non-CS Fenders and CS Fenders, and I notice a significant improvement in quality and workmanship with the CS versions.
  12. JonKim

    JonKim Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2011
    Well all were excellent basses but the best part of the custom shop bass that made it a night and day difference was the playability and feel of the neck
  13. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Both nice basses congrats
  14. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento CA

    Indeed! :bassist:
  15. BIGEJ2

    BIGEJ2 Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    Happy Valley, PA
    I have a CS Custom Classic Jazz. Special order, team built. Currently working on a master built P. Quality and feel of the CS basses are far beyond what I expected. The AVRI series is extremely nice but not quite as refined.
  16. drummer5359

    drummer5359 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Pittsburgh PA USA
    I have an American Standard jazz, an American 60th Anniversary Precision and an original 1972 Tele bass.

    I thought that I've achieved "bass nirvana"...

    But nooooooooo, there has to be something better. And of course if I scrimp and save for a "Team Built" Custom Shop bass, there will still be "Masterbuilt" basses out of my reach.


    Not that it matters, as my current fleet far outstrips my ability already.

  17. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    The way I see it if you have the dosh and the bass really speaks to you, go for it. With a stable of fenders like that I wouldn't feel a pressing desire to do without to get a CS.

    I think there will always be rare and special things out of the reach of almost everyone - and then there are the things that aren't for sale!
  18. Jawbone


    Jul 15, 2010
    Humboldt County
    So what I'm reading is: custom shop basses are "definitely" a superior product. So are the custom shop basses I'm seeing primarily "team built"? I take it that is still good thing?

    I was going to ask if all CS necks are 1/4 sawed - sounds like yes.

    Thanks guys - the last time I forked out this much coin for a musical instrument was for my daughters orchestra grade bassoon.
  19. ljazz


    Dec 10, 2002
    Cookeville, TN
    I love my '08 CS '59P. It's pretty much the only bass I play anymore. I also have a '08 MIA P, a '92 MIA Jazz (boner) and a '97 AmDlx Jazz V. All are nice, but the feel of the CS P is really step up. The quality of workmanship is also a step up (although, I think the '92 J is close..... it just had some design quirks that I had to overcome on my own).

    I've had the CS for a year now. Found it on the rack at a GC...... got them down to just under 1800 out the door. The thing could have been sold as new..... not a scratch or ding on it. Prior to that, I would have never bought one brand new...... now that I have this one, if I ever get a brand new bass again, it will be from the CS.
  20. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    CS basses have always been plentiful used, and deals are all over the place.

    I think a lot of them are bought as investments or by wealthy hobbyists who end up selling them in the same state they were bought in as new.

    Quality is uniformly excellent but like all Fenders they don't all sound equally good.